Thank you for taking action!

In a major outpouring of opposition to the proposed Palomar Pipeline, more than 1,500 people took action in the recent public comment period! Energy speculators beware; Oregonians don’t stand for laws to be changed on behalf of illegal actions!

In November, the Mt. Hood National Forest posted a request for public comment regarding changes to the environmental standards for the public lands segment of the Palomar Pipeline. Though the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead agency for the proposal, the Forest Service realized the need for the public to comment on these significant changes to the law.

In addition to the many citizens who stood up against the Palomar Pipeline, some of Oregon’s representatives also showed strong statements of opposition and concern, including the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners and Senator Ron Wyden. Bark was joined by several other concerned citizen organizations in our concerns for the impacts to Mt. Hood’s forest ecosystems, including Oregon Wild, the Mazamas, Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Pacific Crest Trail Association, American Hiking Society, Oregon Natural Desert Association and American Whitewater.

Thank you for being a part of this historic comment period. We will be sure to keep everyone updated as our campaign continues to stop LNG and the Palomar Pipeline from destroying our national forest!

You can read Bark's comments and find out more information by clicking here. (Scroll down to the "Documents" section.)

Scoping Comments Due February 4th

The Forest Service has opened a public comment period for the Palomar Pipeline until February 4, 2009. Because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead agency, this may be the public’s only opportunity to voice our concerns to local land managers about the impacts to Mt. Hood National Forest. The Palomar Pipeline is a proposed 210-mile pipeline connecting proposed importing terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) to an existing pipeline in eastern Oregon. Forty-seven miles of the pipeline would cross through Mt. Hood National Forest. You can read the scoping letter and find more resources by clicking here.


Update on the Pipeline

It has been almost six months since a group of Barkers hiked, climbed, boated and wade across Mt. Hood National Forest, following the proposed forty-mile route for the Palomar Pipeline. The resistance to liquefied natural gas (LNG) coming into Oregon has continued to grow. Voters in Clatsop County had a landslide victory, stopping pipeline construction through their county parks. Both the States of Oregon and Washington have commented on taking legal action against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for their shabby permitting process of the Bradwood terminal along the Columbia River. New chapters of Oregon Citizens Against the Pipeline have sprouted up along the route and continue to be a dynamic force of pressure on the media, their representatives and the public to get involved in putting an end to LNG!

Bark has continued to add to this groundswell by bringing what we found on the ground to communities around the mountain. We continue to put pressure on Governor Kulongoski to use his ability to stop these destructive projects. Our canvass goes out door-to-door every evening in the Portland area, talking to people about the risks of LNG and the Palomar Pipeline and mobilizing citizens to contact our legislators. Volunteer Scott Coffey made an inspiring film about our Clackamas River crossing that can be seen by clicking the link on the right of your screen or following to the bottom of this page. Using examples such as Fish Creek to show the most environmentally damaging parts to the proposed route, we have created a slideshow of our hike. But we still need your help to keep the pressure up. If you know a group or would like to organize a gathering of people, we can bring all the information and inspiration to get people speaking out on this destructive threat to our way of life!

Is this issue new to you? Check out for much more information about LNG and its effects here in Oregon, as well as around the world.

The next few months will be critical towards stopping the Palomar Pipeline. If you have been looking for a way to get involved in the campaign, but haven't known where to start, contact Bark by emailing amy (at) bark-out (dot) org or calling 503-331-0374.

Sunday, June 8th

...We reached the orange flagging by the afternoon. A bend in the river was filled with light. Enormous Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar trees swayed in the afternoon wind pushing downriver. Despite the largely successful efforts to decommission roads in the Fish Creek watershed, stands of Red Alder now flooding the old road beds bringing enriching nitrogen back to the soil, two of the original bridges remain over the river. The second has orange flagging tied to a tree beside it. The bridge is old and cracked, hardly suitable for carrying weight. Jenn and Adrian crossed the bridge and with my unsteady direction, headed towards Music Creek flowing into Fish Creek just upriver. Joan and I walked a few yards back to the east and followed the orange into the forest. The slope took off at a forty-five degree angle almost immediately...

Monday, June 9th

...This is when Erin gets mad. And I find I need this. I need someone to be mad with. As we trudge through this wetland area, tributaries spitting out from below us, connecting to a network of water, we stop to take it in at the base of an enormous Big-leaf maple, where the surveyor has also taken advantage of solid ground to leave a Palomar stake with its insidious orange blaze waving like a victory flag. As we make it across the wetland, all told the size of a football field and begin to walk up another hillside of second-growth forest, Erin starts talking strategy. We break at a tributary of Rod Creek, sitting uphill and across from a five hundred foot drop into the creek, too steep for even the native streamside brush to grow. We clamor up the bank and within another quarter mile, suddenly I get that feeling again. Systems clear, we are back in old-growth. I am discombobulated by the change. My understanding was the entire subwatershed had been clearcut and was in need of "restorative" logging to get it back to snuff. We walked up and into a depression of the forest, another wetland...

Tuesday, June 10th

...The point at which the proposed pipeline route crosses the Clackamas River exemplifies the majestic qualities of the river. Forty-seven miles of the Clackamas in Mt. Hood is designated a Wild and Scenic River Corridor and for obvious reasons. Old-growth forests push up against the banks, hundreds of years of usnea and lichen progress hanging from branches, carelessly swaying in the wind. The river rocks that have piled up on the beach display Mt. Hood's diverse geology, smoothed by regular, seasonal flooding. A side channel extends out from the rush of the main river, shaded by a grove of Red Alders and providing ideal, slow-moving spawning grounds for the late winter run of the threatened coho salmon. Birds of prey soar overhead, perching on two-hundred foot snags. Dippers, killdeer, mergansers and other waterbirds skim above the rapids. We are still above human intervention of the flow and I'd say they picked a particularly dynamic spot, but this river holds something unique at every bend. I savor a moment of uninhibited, no-compromise zeal...

Wednesday, June 11th

...This was the day we also reached snow. For no clear reason, when the flagging led us to Road 5710, it followed the road for almost a mile. The orange blaze dangled from the brush on the side of the road, which cuts into the steep slopes of the Oak Grove Butte. We had reached 3700 ft. and the wet air was considerably cooler. As we followed the road, it was a relief to walk uninhibited, however exhaustion was already consuming me from our climb. We eventually walked up on a group of trucks, people busy quartering firewood from the forest. I was not sure this was a legal permitted area and we were high up away from the main road. I told the others I was not planning to share our intention to avoid any conflict. But then as we approached a smiling woman, leaning out of the first truck, I felt a hint of pride taking over. "You're about to hit snow just up the road," she announced, amicably. It apparently did not seem to strike her as odd that four backpackers would be walking off-trail in one of the most heavily logged part of the forest. "Where you coming from?" I stood up a little straighter and while readjusting my back so I'd look unencumbered by the weight announced we had walked from Fish Creek and were headed across to McCubbins Gulch on the other side of the national forest. She laughed at this and wished us luck. This was the moment I knew we'd pull this whole thing off...

Thursday, June 12th

...We are walking downhill today and with the change in the weather, everything in my walking is stronger. Shedding layers of clothing, the branches we continue to push through begin to leave small lacerations on my arms and at my ankles and calves where my pants push up and long johns are not protecting my skin any longer. But, I barely notice it. I'm entranced. As we begin to walk down off Oak Grove Butte, I am realizing we have hit the moment I'd thought about for months now. The hemlocks were interspersed with white pines. The vine maples were matched by the rhododendrons. The soil was drier and made up of less decomposing debris, but more rock. The kinnikinnick was replacing a mossy forest floor. And maybe it was the turn in the weather, but I could feel the transition to eastside...

Saturday, June 14th and Sunday, June 15th

...Nothing like a fire to bring people out of their shells. Saturday night, over forty people tucked in around a blazing campfire at Clackamas Lake. The shadows of tents circle around at the edge of the firelight. We were less than a mile from where the pipeline crosses the Pacific Crest Trail and the busy recreation scene of Timothy Lake, but we would navigate that the following day. As the moon rose from behind the treeline, draping shades of blue over everything. The Sunday hike is distant in my mind as we unsuccessfully try to cook popcorn over the fire. In the morning, as we walk we will find a stake with "begin 300 ft. EWS" markered down the length of it. Extra-Wide Swath? 300 feet? But I do not worry about the pipeline, as a telescope has been brought out and I can see the sparkle of sunlight hitting the moon's white surfaces. And as I drop into the fold of my sleeping bag, the comfort of knowing all these people would take their weekend to come join us in the forest is cushion to my troubled mind. The next day, we will once again separate from this moment of support and continue walking...

Monday, June 16th

...We hit Clear Creek late in the afternoon. I had gotten so used to finding some way over the creeks, that by the time we hit a creek with no foreseeable options and a days worth of walking worn through my boots, I didn't have to deliberate for long. I tied my boots onto my pack and plunged my burning feet into the cold Clear Creek. The pace of the stream took me by surprise and I grabbed at one of the vine maples behind me to keep from losing my balance. Once steady, I looked upriver. Tarp, Jim and Candace had found a log to cross on and were making their way across. I was glad to find myself alone. I was choking on tears. Sunlight was beginning to dip behind the trees, leaving behind that ephemeral glow, softening the edges of a hard day. I walked up the river, the cold water reached my knees, having the same restorative effect that it has on my feet. The relief and the beauty of the creek was breaking me down. Candace was calling for me from the thicket of yews on the opposite bank....

Tuesday, June 17th

...Jim Denton sent me an email when we'd returned from the forest; "Logging has made the forest into a land without users. Animals don't like it, hunters don't like it, nor does virtually any other group, except for maybe the ATV crowd. Almost its single use for a 70-120 year period is trying to resurrect itself from the damage done by the last logging cycle. Not only is so much of the forest no longer available for multiple use but the Forest Service continues to pour funds into it for the whole regrowth cycle. Thinning, brushing, fire control, weed control, etc. They log at a loss or very marginal profit and then spend decades and mega dollars trying to get the forest ready for the next round of less than for profit logging. It makes no sense."

Wednesday, June 18th

...Eventually we made it to the McCubbins Off-Highway Vehicle area. Although this area is only part of the proposed solution to off-road, motorized recreation on the national forest, this is also the sight of some of the highest density of current trail systems. An existing powerline that is currently part of the OHV access trails travels up and over several steep slopes that I found difficult to walk on and scary to watch a motorcycle navigate up and down. There are numerous user-created trails leading off into the forest from the designated trails. For more than a mile, the proposed pipeline route expands the existing corridor an extra 50-100 ft. I thought the last few days of my walk would feel so exciting, but it was some of the hardest, most depressing points of the walk. Families of ATVs spilled out of the forest, the deafening roar of their engines bouncing off the landscape and giving me a dizzying loss of direction. At one point, Candace and I found ourselves standing on an ATV trail looking down the glare of an agitated bull cow. By the time I sat down at a picnic table in the McCubbins Camgpround, our endpoint to the hike, a day ahead of schedule, ten days later than I'd started at Fish Creek, I found myself overwhelmed by the surroundings and the reality of it being over....